Doug Pederson Explains Why the Eagles Aren’t As Good On the Road
The Eagles’ 24-15 win over the Falcons furthered one inescapable fact about Philadelphia this season: They’re a completely different team at home than they are on the road. They’re 4-0 at the Linc, but 1-4 in away games as their average point differential shifts from +17 per game to -1 outside of Philadelphia.
“When you’re on the road, you try to press just a little bit,” Doug Pederson said. “You try to get that quick, early lead and take the crowd out of the game. You do some things that are a little uncharacteristic of what you do at home. We just can’t do that. We got to stick to the game plan. We got to approach it much like a home game and trust the players, trust the plan. Let the game come to us a little bit, as opposed to trying to make something happen.
“We got to handle the crowd noise better. There are quite a few factors we’ve got to address and clean up going into these road games.”
If the Eagles hope to make a surge in the second half of the season to reach the postseason, they’ll have to win on the road at some point. This week, Philadelphia travels to Seattle, one of the toughest places to play in the NFL.
Pederson, who grew up in Washington as a Seahawks fan, added that the Eagles may use their indoor practice bubble multiple times this week to simulate Seattle’s crowd noise.
“Going into this stadium, the 12th man is real. … I’ve experienced it first-hand from a fan’s perspective as a kid in high school,” Pederson said. “It’s a loud place, and those are the things that keep your offense from executing and staying on the field. (Seattle) definitely feeds off of that and tries to get you into those second-and-long and third-and-long situations. The point of emphasis this week, obviously, is to be able to handle that.”
Three Eagles won’t practice on Wednesday, but they all have different statuses for the game. Terrence Brooks, who is battling a right hamstring sprain, appears unlikely to play this week. Nolan Carroll, who suffered a concussion against Atlanta, has an unclear status for Sunday. And Jordan Matthews, who suffered back spasms on Tuesday, is expected to be good to go against Seattle.
If Carroll is unavailable, and the Eagles have to pick for some reason between rookies C.J. Smith and Aaron Grymes to play at corner, Pederson said Smith would get the nod.
“He’s had a little more time there, and he’d be the one that would get a little more attention there,” Pederson said. “He played well in preseason, he’s a speed guy [and] he’s a guy that plays extremely smart. There aren’t many throws that get over top of him — he knows how to play and use his technique. Those are the things that we’ve seen in practice, even when he’s on the (scout) team. Those are the things that have shown up and give him an edge if he has an opportunity to play.”
MISSED PENALTY CALL
Doug Pederson said he got word back from the NFL and the Keanu Neal helmet to helmet hit on Jordan Matthews should have been flagged.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) November 16, 2016